Re: Ephesians 4:10

From: Bill Chapman (
Date: Wed Feb 14 1996 - 14:22:04 EST

> Date sent: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 09:47:56 -0500 (EST)
> From: Northland Bible College <>
> <:)> when 3 experts arrive at different interpretations of a syntactical
> question? Is classifying still such an evolving art?
> Even worse, I'd followed the rule (first yr Grk) that the Nominative with
> the article is "always" the subject when two nominatives are found with a
> stative verb. But just this morning, re-reading Dana and Mantey, they
> said this is only "usually" true, and that "sometimes" the subject
> nominative will LACK the article whereas the predicate can HAVE the article.
> Can anybody clarify this seeming impasse?


Your problem is one for which there is no easy answer, but it is not
related to Greek, alone, but to any language which develops over time.

For example, in 10th Grade English, I was taught never to end a
sentence with a preposition. Now, three decades later, my daughter,
enrolled in a prestigious school, writes a paper for her English
class, using the rules I taught her (She was home-schooled.).

Her teacher asked why she made an awkward-sounding sentence, and
my daughter replied, " as not to end the sentence with a
preposition." The teacher said, "We don't do that, anymore."

Do rules come first, or does the language come first? In the case
of Biblical Greek, the texts come first, in the context of other texts
from Classical Greek and other documents. If the language changes
over time, one set of rules cannot apply to all documents.

And all rules have exceptions. It takes much study to determine
whether a particular sentence should follow the rule, or is an
exception. Be patient. Much association with the language will
get you the feel for the language that the rules are trying to
woodenly inculcate in you.

Bill Chapman  601-325-2042
School of Architecture - Mississippi State University

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